Why you should read this book.
Hack Your Motivation is the book I wasn’t allowed to write last time. My former editor warned me that writing this book would forever label me a “narcissist,” because I planned to tell candid stories about real people and use intimate examples of my own twisted behavior and motives to make practical but scientifically based points about motivation. This is the book labeled too raw, brash, and frank to be printed by traditional publishers—you know, the type that operate under antiquated business models, inflexible corporate policies, and editorial censorship. No surprise there: the unconventional is often met with resistance. My last book, published in 2015 by one of the largest academic publishers in the world, earned the #1 new book rank in Cognitive Psychology on Amazon.com. You can buy that book for around seventy dollars—please do--or you can read this book, the one I really wanted to write. Shrewd people will welcome this book with an open mind because it offers concise, easy-to-implement, and scientifically supported motivational knowledge and strategies that most of us need for success.
First this happens
This book is not designed to make you feel warm and fuzzy right away; it is designed to teach you the skills and strategies that can make you happier in the long run. After you read this book, you may not spring out of bed like a hyperactive kangaroo, but you will know why sometimes you want to hide under the covers. Unlike other authors, I don’t promise that once you master the book’s content you will be richer or smarter. I do promise that you will know research-supported strategies from psychology, business, education, athletics, and neuroscience that can propel you to personal success and professional accomplishment. Many of us expect instant success from motivational advice. This is because late-night infomercials and pretend academics make shallow promises, based on unsupported claims, designed to make you feel good, create dependence on them, and separate you from your money. Before you read one more word, remember: no book, and no other person (not even your loved ones), can make you excel. You know better than anyone else what contributes to your feelings of satisfaction and well-being. But you probably don’t know the scientifically based strategies—the maneuvers I call Hacks—that, once mastered, accelerate your motivational growth.
Here’s the difference
Like many people, you probably lie in bed some mornings trying to motivate yourself to get up and get going. Maybe you hit snooze over and over; maybe you search for reasons to justify the grind of enduring physical or emotional discomfort, exerting strenuous effort, or tolerating annoying people. Other days, you rise renewed and invigorated, confident that nothing could possibly interfere with a satisfying and productive day; you feel strong, capable, and competent, knowing you will reach goals that will benefit you and others. The difference between people who (literally or figuratively) go back to sleep and people who seem to have supernatural motivation is the realization that life is full of opportunities to be reached and obstacles meant to be overcome. However, without knowledge of the Hacks in this book, your potential is restricted, your effort may stall, and your accomplishments and satisfaction may be limited.
This is what happens next
The science of motivation is abundantly clear about what happens when you use the Hacks described in this book. The payoff is immense—the powerful combination of vitality and appropriate strategy use leads to achievement, achievement creates elevated mood and positive emotion, and people with positive emotions rate their lives more favorably, reporting consistently stronger feelings of happiness, relaxation, and contentment. The Hack benefits do not end with feelings alone. Although we should not infer that one thing caused another thing to happen, positive emotions come along with distinct health and financial benefits. General feelings of well-being and psychological satisfaction are linked to stronger resistance to common cold viruses, quicker recovery from illnesses (including cancer), and longer lives. When you feel better about your life, you will sleep better, eat more healthy foods, have more (and better) sex, and report higher energy levels. From a personality perspective, people with higher feelings of well-being are perceived as more social by others, demonstrate more creativity, and tend to be well liked. Happy people more frequently donate their time to help those in need and are more likely to be optimistic about the future. People who feel better score more job interviews, have higher performance ratings at work, and earn more money. But first you must master the Hacks.
Why some people will shun this book
I work with brilliant people, but my esteemed colleagues—leaders in the fields of psychology and education—will probably snub this book. Hack Your Motivation doesn’t fit the tedious, jargon-filled style of most evidence-based writing, which is churned out by cookie-cutter academics who must publish their work (for free!) in scientific, peer-reviewed journals. I should know—I’m tenured faculty at one of the largest research universities in the world and have published plenty of conventional journal articles to meet the expectations set forth in my job description. You can read some of my articles on Google Scholar, if you are so inclined. Not many people read journal articles, though—mostly begrudging students whose instructors require them to and academics who need the information to advance their own careers and research agendas.
This book will also annoy the imposters—the self-proclaimed business and industry consulting “experts” with little background knowledge about the topics that they publish on and profit from. I know what that industry is like too: I spent twenty years working as a leadership and performance consultant before changing careers, sacrificing a lucrative business to earn my PhD. I call these authors “karaoke academics”—they generalize findings they skim from journals, frequently providing shallow, misleading interpretations of the research and ultimately misrepresenting the original author’s intention. These imposters simply repackage and sell the ideas of my brilliant colleagues who must publish their research in academic journals to earn tenure. When it comes to music, wouldn’t you prefer to listen to the original artist’s version rather than a bad karaoke imitation? Shouldn’t the same rules apply to knowledge about the latest findings and strategies from motivational science? Given the choice, I think you will agree that the original source is better.
Hack Your Motivation gives you the most accurate and up-to-date information on motivation to help improve your life. This book is written in an informal and amusing style. The unorthodox examples from my life are meant to enlighten, inspire, and entertain. The strategies and tips you will find in this book are all based on hardcore motivational science, but it isn’t theory-laden gobbledygook—you know, the kind where you read the same sentences two or three times and still can’t figure out what the author is talking about or why you should care.
If you want to make your life easier, if feeling positive about yourself is important to you, and if you want to master strategies for success while gaining a better understanding of who you are and why you do what you do, then please continue reading Hack Your Motivation, and share what you learn with others. If you prefer to take your motivational science in a 435-page technical version with hundreds of citations, then please feel free to buy my other book! Both books are based on the latest objective research and are designed to improve your life. Only you know which approach works best for you, no matter what those other motivational imposters tell you. Now, let’s get hacking!